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Old Oct 24, 2011, 12:02 AM   #1
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My photography is evolving into more infant/children/family portraits. I'm very much an amature who loves taking pics of my kids and friends kids. I have recently been asked by others to take their families pictures.

I have been using my 35mm 1.8 in my D90. It does an okay job if I want to be right on top of my subjects all the time?!? I don't know the first thing about lenses. Also, I have a small living room where I've attempted to take some newborn shots.

I'm feeling like I could use a zoom/portrait lens? Any thoughts on what to put on my radar? Nothing crazy expensive....
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 7:06 AM   #2
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In the "Nothing crazy expensive" Department, take a look at the Tamron 28-75/2.8.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 7:48 AM   #3
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My suggestion would be to Google portrait photography tutorials or children portrait photography tutorials. That should give you plenty of information on not only the hows tos but also suggestions on the equipment, including lenses,
best for this type of photography.

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Old Oct 24, 2011, 8:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
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In the "Nothing crazy expensive" Department, take a look at the Tamron 28-75/2.8.
+1. This is the lens I use for probably 80% of my photos, and I really love it. IT's sharp as a tack, good wide open, has excellent color fidelity and contrast, and is not particularly heavy (it weighs a lot less than the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8, which is in most respects an even better lens but costs a fortune), and takes the same filters as the Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR -- in case you have or decide to get that in the future. The bokeh of the Tamron is not spectacular, but it is qute acceptable. I have not found any CA with the lens at all. It is a wonderful events lens, but you need to get a seat up front if you are shooting a school concert or play. All in all, this is a wonderful lens at a very competitive price.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 10:30 AM   #5
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When I'm doing family/children shoots outdoors I use a 70-200mm f2.8 most of the time as it is easy not to be right up in the face of the child meaning they are more likely to be relaxed and just doing their thing. Now with a crop body (I use full frame cameras) I would look at a Sigma 50-150mm f2.8. The 28-75 is a good lens but just not long enough for my taste. If you look on my blog the majority of family shoot photographs were done with the 70-200, the rest were with a 24-105.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 1:39 PM   #6
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Another option that would be well worth a look, although it can be hard to find, is the Tokina 50-135 f/2.8 DX. I have never actually seen one in nature, but it gets raves from people who own it. I am a fan of Tokina generally -- they make excellent optics, their build quality is first-rate, and they are priced like a bargain brand.

The Sigma 50-150 that Mark mentioned has a reputation for unusually bad QA from Sigma. Folks who get a good one think it's wonderful, but it is apparently a difficult lens to put together. The photo forums are filled with folks who said they had to get three or four of them before they got one that wasn't wildly misaligned. So, even more than Sigma generally, you will want to make sure you can return the lens easily if you get it through the mail, or that you try it out in the photo shop before you plunk your money down if you get it from a brick-and-mortar shop.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 7:26 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your input! I'll look into these mentioned as well as the blog for something to reference.

This community is very helpful and much appreciated!

My current gear is the D90 w/ a kit of 18-55 and 70-300 VR. I bought my 35mm 1.8 used. Any suggestions on where to buy a Tamron or any lens...B&H, BestBuy?? My camera and kit came through Costco.

Thanks again
Jen
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 7:37 PM   #8
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BTW, al the lenses mentioned here are available for rent at LensRentals.com.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 8:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Any suggestions on where to buy a Tamron or any lens...B&H, BestBuy??
I have bought through B&H, Adorama, and Amazon. I have gotten both new and factory refurbished lenses from them and been satisfied in all cases. Amazon is sometimes a bit casual when packing lenses for shipping, but all of them have excellent return policies and are reliable in standing behind their sales in my experience. If you buy used, KEH is a well-respected place to buy, although I have no personal experience with them.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 8:59 PM   #10
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50/1.8 lenses can be had very reasonably, and with a cropped dSLR, is about right for portraits. I've just started using one for my Canons, and lemme tell ya. I'm loving it.
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